Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Welcome to the cruise ship

A brand-newly hatched Black Swallowtail caterpillar, just out of the egg (those are the whorls of my fingerprints for size comparison):

Newly hatched Black Swallowtail

They get bigger (you can see an unhatched egg in this picture, too):

Growing Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

They get lots bigger (same finger and thumb):

Grown Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

No kidding: The caterpillar in the third picture is the same -- Black Swallowtail -- as in the first picture.

At the Butterfly Farm in St. Martin, they joke that the caterpillar is the "cruise ship phase" of the butterfly's life, because all they do is eat, eat, eat. However, I can assure you that there is one more thing they do a lot of:

They poop, poop, poop.

But as they make their way from the critter in the first picture to the monster in the third, and then eventually to this, they are subject to predation. Lots of things around here want to eat them -- lizards, tree frogs, and birds, to name a few. So...

...this post is concluded in my new blog and I mentioned a little while ago. You can read it simply by clicking here. You will need to be approved to read that blog (reason explained in the previous post), but if you would like to be approved, all you need to do is ask. Click here and send me a message. That's all you need to do. I will approve you (as long as you're not Certain Someone). I promise.

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Gianna has (I'm completely serious) a rubber, realistic Black Swallowtail caterpillar that she likes to carry around the yard, and to occasionally taste-test. I keep meaning to photograph it, mostly for the benefit of my younger sister (who is very grossed out by caterpillars!)

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